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Marketing & Sales

Become Famous in Your Local Restaurants

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A fun and simple way to promote your health club in your favorite local restaurant.

 As a health club owner, you should always be on the lookout to promote your business as well as forge relationships with your fellow local business owners. Restaurants, especially those who have some healthier food selections, are a great way to accomplish both of these objectives.

 Endorse Healthy Menu Items 

One great way to partner with local restaurants is to endorse items on their menu. Typically, no matter what restaurant you visit, you can find a handful of selections on their menu that are healthier choices for their patrons. For example, a chicken sandwich or the salads or steak and vegetables are all healthy alternatives to burgers and large fatty meals. Wouldn’t it be great to see your gym’s logo next to those selections, or better yet, to be able to sponsor their entire healthy choices section?

One way to initiate this joint venture is to approach the restaurant manager and offer to pay for the re-printing of all of his menus. He gets new menus at no cost to him, and you get your club’s name endorsed all over the menu. At the bottom of the menu you can place a small logo and next to it, it can say, “All menu items with this icon are endorsed by XYZ Fitness Center, located at (address of your facility).” Beyond the first menu printing, it might make more sense to split the cost of printing, depending on how often the restaurant goes through menus. You can do this at any restaurant in your market. Imagine how powerful it is for restaurant customers to see your name next to several of the menu items.

 Offer Membership Incentives 

You can also go an extra step and pay for the booklets in which the wait staff provides the meal bill. When they open to find their receipt, engraved in the inside of the book it could say, “XYZ Fitness Center is proud to partner with (Restaurant name). Bring your receipt to XYZ Fitness Center within the next 30 days and receive your first month fitness membership for free!”

 Another strategy that has worked well is to provide the restaurant wait staff with a large supply of high quality plastic gift cards. These can have a dollar amount on them or they can be used for 30 days of free membership at your health club. The wait staff is typically happy to do this because their tips will likely increase when they offer the customer an unexpected gift. 

 A Reciprocal Relationship 

Not only is the restaurant providing additional value to the customer’s dining experience, but also positions them as a well-connected business in the community. In addition, it helps cut one of their biggest expenses by offsetting the cost of printing the menus. You can also provide restaurant coupons to new members as part of their welcome packet.

Your club obviously benefits from the exposure of having so many people promoting your club.  In addition, you can trade memberships to their staff in exchange for a number of gift certificates to distribute to your members in a referral contest. You can also allow patrons of the restaurant to bring in their restaurant receipt to the health club in exchange for a 30 day trial membership, adding value to their dining experience. You can also mention their restaurant in your club’s monthly newsletter to members and promote them occasionally as the “Business of the Month.”

There are many creative ways to cross promote services with a restaurant. The worst that the restaurant can say is “no.” So just ask them…they might just surprise you with a variety of ideas to promote each other as well!

Curtis Mock is an author, speaker, and consultant to health clubs worldwide, and is the Executive Director of GymSuccess.com.  Curtis welcomes all questions and comments via email at Curtis@ClubSolutionsMagazine.com 

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